Chinelo Unmasked

Chinelo Unmasked

This was one of the chinelos, a type of dancer from the Mexican City neighborhoods of Milpa Alta and Xochimilco. They usually appear around carnival time when they serve to mock old men and disguise the wearers.

Wikipedia says:

This dance developed as a mockery of the Europeans with their fine clothing, beards, fair skin and mannerisms. The modern Chinelos costume began to take shape from between the mid 19th century to the early 20th. The elaborate dress, gloved hands, uptilted beard and arrogant stance also makes fun of the salon dancing of the upper classes during the period of the French intervention as well as Porfirio Díaz’s attempts to “Europeanize” Mexico at the end of the 19th century…

The dance, literally called a “brincon” or “jump” is a set of repetitive steps. The choreography is very simple. With feet apart and knees slightly bent, the dancers take two shuffling steps, then leading with one shoulder or the other, take a small jump to the right or left. Dancers join in and drop out for longer events but the group dances as long as the band plays. Most Chinelos dancers are young men as it is tiring and the costumes can be suffocating. The role of a Chinelo dancer is passed on from parents to children. On some occasions children dance on a different day than their parents

I ran into a problem when photographing this: there was too much noise in the background. What I did was to make two copies of the photo. I changed the first to a monochrome, then laid it on top of the full color second. Then I used a background eraser to bring out the colorful figure.

I don’t hide my secrets.

Posted in Background Erase, Nikon D70, Orange County Tagged , , , , , , .